The Cable Game just got Joost

Written By mista sense on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 | 1:36 PM












Everyone knows that Convergence is coming--but nobody knows exactly how it is coming.

That is, the strem of content coming from TV and from the Internet are going to be One, appearing on the same TV/computer screen--this much we know. What we don't know, of course, is what "channel" people will be watching: Will it be a broadcaster? Or a cabler? Or an Internetter? A little of all three--or all three zillion? Inquiring minds want to know, that's for sure.

This morning The Wall Street Journal offered a particularly insightful page one article on Google's vision for the future, which is breathtaking, indeed: "Google's gargantuan stated mission of organizing all the world's information into searchable form." The Journal's Kevin Delaney and Matthew Karnitschnig continued, "For TV executives fretting about the future of their business, YouTube [a recent acquisition of Google's] is both fascinating and terrifying."

Gargantuan. Fascinating. Terrifying. Those are all good words to describe the prospect that the entire world will be Googled.

That's right: every word, every image, every data point--all of them folded, spindled, or Googled.

The Cable Gamer doesn't claim to have the bandwidth to figure out all this Convergence biz. But she does know that there is going to be a Google-lash--a backlash against Google. The WSJ article, this morning, for example, cites the difficulty that Google was having in reaching a deal with Viacom--which includes such hot Cable Game properties as "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report"--over video content being displayed on Google's YouTube. It seems that the content-provider companies are worried about giving away their product for free on the note--and to the profit of Google/YouTube. Yet even so, Google CEO Eric Schmidt expressed confidence to the Journal that some sort of deal would be possible.

Or maybe not. Later on Wednesday, comes news from USA Today that Viacom has signed a deal with yet another online video service, Joost, which was founded by the folks who developed Skype. Which is to say, a pretty tech-savvy bunch, fully capable, one would think, of going up against Google.

And so the battle is joined. Stay tuned, because on one or another of these channels--maybe a million billion channels in all--you'll be getting your news, and your everything else, in the Convergent Future.

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